Council leader 'committed to building new leisure centre for Hartlepool' to replace deteriorating Mill House
Hartlepool’s top council chief has pledged his commitment to building a new leisure centre for the town to replace the deteriorating Mill House complex.
We reported how councillors will look at various options for improving leisure facilities in Hartlepool, including the option of tearing down Mill House Leisure Centre and building a new facility on land nearby.
Now, Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Shane Moore has pledged his commitment to a new leisure centre, and called on councillors to back his vision.
The council’s Finance and Policy Committee is being asked to reallocate £175,000 from the authority’s planned capital maintenance budget to cover the cost of a feasibility study, an option appraisal and initial design works.
Coun Moore said: “The condition of the building is deteriorating and it will require significant investment of about £1.3million over the next five years.
“In reality, Mill House Leisure Centre has exceeded its lifespan and is no longer fit for purpose.
“Although much work will remain to be done, it will be a significant milestone on the road to the town getting the new, modern leisure centre I am committed to delivering, so I hope the committee agrees to the re-allocation of funding.”
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At the committee meeting next Monday councillors will hear how it is vital preparations for a new leisure centre are accelerated, given the age and life expectancy of Mill House, which was built in 1972.
It is anticipated that the initial works could be completed by March next year.
A public consultation exercise will be carried out over the summer to identify the mix of facilities required to encourage more people to participate in sport and leisure activities.
Councillors will also hear that a new leisure centre is crucial for the health and well-being of the local population.
In a report to the committee, Assistant Director (Preventative and Community Based Services) Gemma Ptak says: “There is strong evidence that physical activity can reduce the risk of some of these diseases significantly. There is also significant evidence showing the association between physical activity and improved mental health.”